• Tales & Traditions

    Donald Òg Macaulay of Brenish, Part I

    by  • 19 January 2009 • Gàidhlig, History, Land Issues, Military & Police, Tales & Traditions • 0 Comments

    Donald Òg was the younger of two sons called Donald, born to Dugald Macaulay, tacksman of Brenish, in the late 17th century; he was the great-grandson of Domhnall Càm. Rev William Matheson’s columns on the Macaulays, published in the Gazette in the 1950s, include several stories about Donald Òg drawn from the Morrison manuscripts.  He […]

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    Duncan and the Spacemen

    by  • 16 January 2009 • History, Tales & Traditions • 0 Comments

    [singlepic=389,400] Duncan Macdonald, Gisla, was the postman on the Kinlochresort route and his daily walk took him four miles over the moors to the remote village.  One day in 1959, he noticed that a loch was missing:  the water was simply gone.  Much debate ensued over the reason for this but the obvious explanation was […]

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    The Silver Lady of Garynahine

    by  • 13 January 2009 • Tales & Traditions • 3 Comments

    From the Stornoway Gazette, 2 August 1960 and subsequent editions. White Lady Startles Drivers:  a Garynahine Ghost Story The “Garynahine Ghost,” which promised to be Lewis’s best authenticated spectre to date, has turned out to be a false alarm.  Several motorists had reported startling encounters near Garynahine Bridge with a tall woman, dressed in white […]

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    Getting Rid of the Buannas

    by  • 2 October 2008 • History, Tales & Traditions • 0 Comments

    [singlepic=270,328] Abridged from Dolly Doctor’s Tales and Traditions of the Lews (Acair): The Buannaichean or Buannas of the Lord of the Isles were a set of picked warriors who were supposed to keep close to him and protect him from danger, especially when he left his own district.  They were outstanding in strength and stature, […]

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    Calum Mòr’s Family

    by  • 10 September 2008 • Genealogy, History, Tales & Traditions • 0 Comments

    William Matheson, Mac Gille Chaluim, wrote extensively of his own family in Uig: Malcolm Matheson [a younger son of Donald Ruadh (or Ban) Matheson, of Kneep and Valtos] known as Calum Ruadh or Calum Mòr, was tenant in Carnish when John Nicolson was tacksman.  In his time the population of the townlands of Uig was […]

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    The One Night Shieling

    by  • 7 September 2008 • Tales & Traditions • 0 Comments

    From an article in Uig News by Dave Roberts. It appears that shielings were constructed so that one airigh could easily be seen from another, but it is said that very often the girls from a number of shielings would sleep in one building for company. The ancient shieling grounds for Brenish, Islivig and Mangersta were […]

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    Offerings to Shoni

    by  • 7 September 2008 • Church, Tales & Traditions, Weather • 0 Comments

    Dolly Doctor wrote in Tales and Traditions of the practice of performing the t-ainmean in the upper end of Uig – evidently the last man to carry it out was a Mackinnon, grandfather of Dolly Doctor’s informant, so perhaps towards the end of the 18th century. This offering was made to a god of the […]

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    The Each Uisge at Carishader

    by  • 3 September 2008 • Tales & Traditions • 0 Comments

    The Waterhorse, or Each Uisge, is commonly known throughout the Highlands and Islands as a dreadful creatures that lives in dark lochans and feasts on human flesh. They can take any shape, and while they most frequently emerge from the water as stallions, ready to carry away to the depths any human they encounter, they […]

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    The Cave of Swords

    by  • 25 August 2008 • Tales & Traditions • 0 Comments

    On a day when fog came down, the crofter on Mealisbhal stumbled and fell, but not onto rock, nor even onto the soggy ground – he felt himself falling through the heather and moss, and into a concealed entrance…

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    Donald Càm’s Early Career

    by  • 22 August 2008 • History, Tales & Traditions • 0 Comments

    From Rev William Matheson’s History of the Macaulays: The tradition among some of his descendants today is that Dòmhnall Càm was the least formidable of his father’s sons in point of physical strength.  It is related, for example, that, when at archery practice near his home above one end of Traigh na Clibhe, he was […]

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    Whisky Galore at the Upper End

    by  • 21 August 2008 • Entertainments, Tales & Traditions • 0 Comments

    From an Uig News series of articles about beachcombing, by Dave Roberts. The variety of things that washed up is quite incredible, and unexpected. In 1924, long before “The Politician” sank off Eriskay, “Saltier” (Malcolm Buchanan) from Brenish, disappeared for three days. He was eventually discovered down by the curing houses, sleeping soundly alongside a 40-gallon drum of […]

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    Wild Murdoch of Mealista Island

    by  • 19 August 2008 • Health & Food, Tales & Traditions • 2 Comments

    Mealista Island (on the right) from above Molinish, with Scarp in the distance. From “Various Superstitions in the North-West Highlands and Islands of Scotland, Especially in Relation to Lunacy” by Arthur Mitchell AM MD, Deputy Commissioner for Lunacy in Scotland, Corresponding Member of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.  From the Proceedings of the Society of […]

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    The Smith of Kneep

    by  • 16 August 2008 • Tales & Traditions • 0 Comments

    From Donald Macdonald’s Tales and Traditions of the Lews: One of the best warriors of the parish of Uig was the Gobha Bàn, the fair smith, who lived at Kneep while Donald Càm was settled at Valtos.  The Gobha Bàn was stronger than Donald Càm but was not as clever with the sword.  The smith […]

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    Macpherson the Wheelwright

    by  • 13 August 2008 • Tales & Traditions • 0 Comments

    Photo by rojabro. This isn’t strictly an Uig tale, though one episode takes place on the Flannans, and there is a suggestion that Macpherson may be the grandfather of Kenneth Macpherson the catechist from Bayhead, who married Ann Smith from Strome and Valtos and lived in Ness.   It’s offered in the hope that someone may be […]

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    Iain Dubh Chraidhig at the Fishing

    by  • 8 August 2008 • Tales & Traditions • 1 Comment

    In Rev William Matheson’s examination of the history of the Smiths of Uig he explored some possible origins of the family, beginning with Iain Dubh Craidhig who it seems came to Uig as a child with his mother and father on board a ship.  They were said to have originally been Mackinnons from Barra, Uist or Harris, and were […]

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    Mac an t-Sronaich’s First Murder

    by  • 6 August 2008 • Tales & Traditions • 3 Comments

    This version of the story comes from the CE Uig annals but we haven’t (yet) identified who the storyteller is. Now, another story I heard from an old minister in Ullapool about Mac an t-Sronaich.  We’re in Ullapool, 30 miles away from Garve where Mac an t-Sronaich came from originally.  Stronach is a common name on […]

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